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Deeply wounded

Published:Tuesday | June 5, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Residents of Jarrett Lane, off Mountain View Avenue, take part in yesterday's meeting
Head of the Community Safety and Security Branch, SSP James Forbes, participates in a meeting with Jarrett Lane residents called yesterday by the Jamaica Constabulary Force to address the death of Kavorn Schue. -Photos by Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Senior JCF members express sadness at Schue killing

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

An emotional Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) James Forbes yesterday revealed he mentored 25-year-old Kavorn Schue and declared he was personally wounded by the death of the young man who was on his way to being recruited by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) when he was killed by a group of policemen.

"I am saying with no apology that I am deeply wounded by his death," Forbes told applauding residents during a meeting at a community centre in the vicinity of Jarrett Lane in Mountain View Avenue, St Andrew.

Forbes, who heads the Community Safety Division of the JCF, was not alone in the lamentation as he was accompanied by a host of senior police officers, including SSP Steve McGregor and Assistant Commissioner of Police for Area Four George Quallo who was just as vocal in his expressions.

"It is a sad occasion that greeted us today, the Commissioner of Police and the hierarchy of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are fully on board and fully support us coming here," Quallo said.

Both Forbes and Quallo acknowledged that the controversial death could have implications for what had been a steadily growing relationship between the Mountain View Avenue community and the police.

fastest-growing youth club

Forbes said Dino (as Schue was known) was the sports coordinator for the largest and fastest-growing police youth club in the country.

"What has happened is a major setback but I am confident that we will be able to push back the grid together and move forward," said Quallo, even as residents called for the resignation of Superintendent Arthur Brown who reportedly led the Saturday morning operation that claimed Schue's life.

At the time of his death, police reports were that Schue was killed in a shoot-out, but angry residents have disputed the claim.

Yesterday tempers simmered as Forbes described Schue as a role model and a motivator who was able to assist the police broker peace during troubled times, keeping violence away from the area for the past five years.

"When someone woke me up at 3 o'clock to tell me that Dino was dead, it hurt me greatly. I can tell you that because I know him personally; he was one of the persons who I have worked closely with and it was out of my influence that he wanted to join the force," Forbes asserted.

He said the police youth club in which Schue served was the best in the country.

"I have been going around and bragging that it is my model club ... it won the award for being most productive club in the country, so this is a big loss," he lamented.

approval from residents

Forbes' impassioned appeal for support elicited howls of approval from the group of residents. "I am saying to you residents this is not a police versus a community issue ... . Dino is one of the significant persons in this community that we have been working with, so I am hurt as much as you are hurt."

He said Police Commissioner Owen Ellington has asked that every effort be made to have the matter properly investigated.

"When the commissioner instructed all of us here he meant something seriously. Commissioner Ellington wants everybody who knows anything to say what they know because we are going to ensure that justice is served."

Forbes had cut short a course he was taking part in at Twickenham Park in St Catherine to address the people of Jarrett Lane.

Meanwhile, Quallo refused to mince words as he urged the people to cooperate with the investigation.

"The fact that we are here, both police and civilian side of things, means that we are also grieving the loss of a life," said Quallo. "The loss of any life is devastating, moreso a young man who by all accounts, was a respectable man."